The four pilots of the 8th Dragon Squadron waited on the surface of landing pad 40. As Delaine and his entourage descended from the huge Anaconda the two groups appraised one another warily. The scene was reminiscent of an old western movie Adamantium thought. Archon stood out among his men; an imposing figure, broad shouldered and tall with coarse blond locks that framed a craggy, simian face. He looked dangerous and cunning and held an unchanging expression that displayed a mixture of cynicism, suspicion and superiority. He, like his companions who were obviously keen to emulate their leader, were dressed in garb befitting Imperial nobility rather than the pirates they were. The Kumo Crew were not just some small criminal empire like so many others scattered across the bubble, they had real power, influence and evidently – very good taste in clothing...

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“….and the hydroponic process is state of the art,” Furieux said reverently. “After the middle run they analyse it by advanced gas chromatography, and that is why this drink” – he paused, raised the glass to his lips and took a mouthful – “is the finest in the galaxy.”

Adamantium didn’t particularly care for gin, but since Furieux’s return to Coney Gateway he was somewhat enjoying the customary lectures that followed consumption of half a bottle of Centauri. Adamantium’s beer was taking effect, and he found the subtle glow from the glass to be somewhat hypnotic as began another tale of gin-themed adventure.

The first flicker of the lights went almost unnoticed. The second lasted longer, and the bar became hushed. Distant booms could be heard echoing around the station and the Star and Garter was suddenly bathed in the green glow of emergency lighting...

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After a turbulent and politically charged assignment, all vessels belonging to the 8th Dragon Squadron of Patocuda have now departed the conflict ravaged system of Terra Mater.  Since the signing of their well publicized agreement to support the Brotherhood of Terra Mater in a full scale takeover of their home system, the contract mercs faced a campaign fraught with issues as many powerful and equally well organised factions were staunchly focused on keeping the Terra Mater system under Justice Party control.

During the operation, Dragon pilots reported swift and deadly resistance from local parties and – rather unexpectedly – followers of the Guardians of Harmony; a group known to hold strong ties with Utopian cult leader, Pranav Antal...

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